Paul Callaghan

1947 - 2012; Scientist, public intellectual, New Zealander of the Year 2011.


Professor Sir Paul Callaghan (1947–2012) was one of New Zealand’s most successful and internationally renowned scientists. Sir Paul was the founding director of the MacDiarmid Institute. He was the Alan MacDiarmid Professor of Physical Science at Victoria University of Wellington and was a founding director of tech company Magritek. He published over 240 articles in scientific journals and several books including the popular Wool to Weta: Transforming New Zealand’s Culture and Economy, on the potential for science and technology entrepreneurialism to diversify New Zealand’s economy. He was appointed a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006 and in 2007 was recognised by a KEA/NZTE World Class New Zealander Award and the Sir Peter Blake Medal. In 2010 he was awarded the Günther Laukien Prize for Magnetic Resonance and shared the Prime Minister’s Science Prize. In 2011 he was named the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.